Anthony Hanson - Ph.D. Student

Anthony Hanson


Robert Koch


Brooten, MN

Research Topic

My primary research interest is in how both biotic and abiotic factors play a role population dynamics of various insect species. Currently for my PhD, I’m focusing on the effects of host-plant resistance on soybean aphid susceptibility to stresses such as insecticides. I also continue to have an interest in the effects of temperature on population dynamics, range distribution, and phenology in various side projects and research from my Master’s work.

Previous Education

M.Sc., 2013, University of Minnesota, Entomology 
B.A., 2010. Concordia College Moorhead, MN, Biology

Why Insects?

I wasn’t the stereotypical entomologist who played with insects early on as a kid. I had ducks, cows, and other critters that held my interest until college, but insects typically went unnoticed. This left a pretty wide open niche when I was first introduced to the diversity of insects in undergrad. It was that sudden exposure to the sheer number of insects out there in almost any field or trek through the woods that has held my interest in them since.

Why University of Minnesota?

I grew up and worked on a farm in Minnesota raising beef cattle and growing corn, soybeans, and forage crops, so I have always had a strong interest in agriculture. I first became interested in the U of M in high school during FFA after seeing the variety of agricultural research and leadership present here. When it came time to start applying for grad school, I already knew the U of M had one of the top entomology programs in the country, so I decided this would be a great place to further myself in agricultural research and leadership in my home state.


After my PhD work, I’d like to continue research in agriculture. My main interest from both growing up on a farm and my involvement in FFA is service to farmers, so in the future I would like to be developing solutions for new and old agricultural problems that farmers face. For future employment, I’m interested in a position in either private industry or extension with a focus on applying integrated pest management tactics as an economic entomologist. Utilizing integrated pest management throughout the crop production process, which can range from an initial breeding program to on-farm management or financial decisions, holds great potential for improving farming and is an area I would like to make a career out of.

Favorite Insect

I don’t have one specific favorite, but the one I have the most fun with is the six spotted tiger beetle (Cicindela sexguttata). I’m rather fond of emerald colored things, plus it’s a treat to actually spot one, much less catch one.

Other interests/hobbies:

I like to get out of the cities to go hunting, fishing, hiking, etc. when I can. I dabble in photography and music (guitar and saxophone) just a little. Otherwise, I enjoy a good book typically more in the science fiction-esque genres. I’m also somewhat fluent in Norwegian (although rusty in conversation), descended from Norwegian royalty, and have a strong appreciation for making Norwegian foods such as lefse, lutefisk, and blodklub.

Coffee or tea?

Water. Preferably from a well high in iron with just a touch of sulfur.